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us title: Knife of Ice
italian title: Il coltello di ghiaccio
year: 1972
director: Umberto Lenzi
composer: Marcello Giombini
full details: IMDB
overall score: 69

Bottom Line: Entertaining
Nothing ground breaking here, but a fun time nonetheless.

WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

Umberto Lenzi is the unsung hero of the Giallo. Whether or not you like his movies is irrelevant to the fact that he contributed as much to the establishment of the genre as Bava and Argento, but unlike Argento, Lenzi was pretty much done with the genre by 1975 with 8 films in the category.

Released only six months after Seven Blood Stained Orchids, Knife of Ice feels like Lenzi's return to his earlier style with the mystery in a rural setting and the inclusion of Carol Baker who starred in some of his pre-70's Gialli. The first half of the film is suspenseful and moves quickly, keeping the viewer interested and entertained. The film drags a bit in the second half, partly out of necessity to set up an ending that even the most seasoned Giallo veterans might not see coming.

For reasons the viewer will eventually discover, there's no real amateur detective following the clues (other than the viewer himself). And we really don't notice this absence. The police investigation is fairly competent and there's enough action happening outside of the investigation to keep us interested. In the end, the killer is not killed but simply "goes quietly" which doesn't bode well with the GialloScore. 

But other than these two major omissions, Knife of Ice is an entertaining Giallo and one that is worth seeking out by the genre enthusiast. All the criteria that make for a fun experience are represented along with a catchy main theme by Marcello Giombini and some gorgeous set locations in Catalonia.

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score breakdown

Hint: Hover over a score item for more details
Staples : 45/60
Italian Director10 points
Hidden Identity10 points
Black Gloves5 points
Classic Period (1970 - 1975)5 points
Motivation: Psychological Trauma/Revenge10 points
Director > 15 points
Standards : 17/30
Body Count >= 34 points
Flashback Revelation3 points
Mistaken Identity2 points
Suspects >= 34 points
Urban Location4 points
Signatures : 7/10
Attend Funeral1 point
Chase scene1 point
Dolls/Dummies1 point
Odd Clue1 point
Photography/Glamor/Modeling/Art1 point
Priest1 point
Taunting1 point
Total Points : 69/100



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Published: 2014-12-02